Montreal Negotiations Update

  • On Friday, February 12, the federal mediators suspended labor negotiations until further notice.
  • A strike vote took place between February 15 and February 18.
  • Our intel advised that 98.5% of votes was for a strike.
  • This strike mandate allows the union 60 days to announce if an official strike will take place with minimum notice of 72 hours.
  • Omnitrans is hearing that all parties are amicably agreeing to respect the March 21 deadline prior to proceeding with a lockdown or strike.
  • However, it’s important to note that the union or the Maritime Employers Association (MEA) may change their mind at any time and announce a strike/lockdown earlier giving impacted parties only 72 hour notice.
  • Omnitrans is diligently working to identify possibly impacted shipments as well as alternative options for cargo still at origin and customers will be contacted should there be any impact to their freight.

 

Halifax

  • No vessel berth delays
  • Rail dwell times have increased from 3-5 days to 4-7 days
  • Port has advised their contingency plans should there be a Montreal port strike – they made it clear that cargo on services that typically do not call Halifax will be deprioritized for berthing and there will be no rail capacity to move that cargo inland

 

Prince Rupert

  • Vessel berth wait times remain at 6-7 days
  • Yard capacity remains above 100%
  • Rail dwell time is anywhere between 5-14 days
  • Severe cold weather across Canada has resulted in shorter trains and reduced speeds with CN which in turn is generating a shortage of rail cars and increased backlog at the terminals

 

Vancouver

  • Vessel berth wait times remain at 7 days
  • Yard utilization is at 98%
  • Rail dwell time has increased and averages between 6-15 days
  • Severe cold weather across Canada has resulted in shorter trains and reduced speeds with both CN and CP leading to a shortage of rail cars and increased backlog at the terminals

 

LA/Long Beach

  • Released US Coast Guard video shows how extreme congestion has become at the ports (Video – Source Freightwaves)
  • Terminal operators anticipate they will be able to dig out in last spring
  • Daily number of vessels waiting for berth remain between 30-35 vessels
  • Labor shortages continue to impact all terminals
  • Vessel berth wait times remain between 7-12 days
  • Import dwell time remains at 8 day average
  • Chassis shortage continues